Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

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The lithium iron phosphate battery (LiFePO4 battery) or LFP battery (lithium ferrophosphate), is a type of lithium-ion battery using lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as the cathode material, and a graphitic carbon electrode with a metallic backing as the anode.[1] The energy density of LiFePO4 is lower than that of lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2), and also has a lower operating voltage. The main drawback of LiFePO4 is its low electrical conductivity.[2]

History

LiFePO4 is a natural mineral of the olivine family (triphylite). Arumugam Manthiram and John B. Goodenough first identified the polyanion class of cathode materials for lithium ion batteries. LiFePO4 was then identified as a cathode material belonging to the polyanion class for use in batteries in 1996 by Padhi et al. Reversible extraction of lithium from LiFePO4 and insertion of lithium into FePO4 was demonstrated.[3] Because of its low cost, non-toxicity, the natural abundance of iron, its excellent thermal stability, safety characteristics, electrochemical performance, and specific capacity (170 mA·h/g, or 610 C/g) it has gained considerable market acceptance.

Uses

Transportation

Higher discharge rates needed for acceleration, lower weight and longer life makes this battery type ideal for forklifts, bicycles and electric cars. 12V LiFePO4 batteries are also gaining popularity as a second (house) battery for a caravan, motor-home or boat. Tesla Motors currently uses LFP batteries in certain vehicles, including its Chinese-made Standard Range Models 3 and Y, and some Model 3 units in the United States beginning around August 2021.[4]

Home Energy Storage

Most 'lithium' home storage batteries use the LFP chemistry for reasons of cost and fire safety. The lower energy density than other lithium chemistries is not significant in this static application. In 2021, there were many suppliers: SonnenBatterie, Cyclendo, Enphase, Moixa, BYD, Givenergy, Lyth Energy Technology, Alpha-ESS, Puredrive, Saft, LithiumWerks, with more appearing regularly in a burgeoning market.[5]

Solar Powered Lighting

Single "14500" (AA battery–sized) LFP cells are now used in some solar-powered landscape lighting instead of 1.2 V NiCd/NiMH.[citation needed] LFP's higher (3.2 V) working voltage lets a single cell drive an LED without circuitry to step up the voltage. Its increased tolerance to modest overcharging (compared to other Li cell types) means that LiFePO4 can be connected to photovoltaic cells without circuitry to halt the recharge cycle. The ability to drive an LED from a single LFP cell also obviates battery holders, and thus the corrosion, condensation and dirt issues associated with products using multiple removable rechargeable batteries.

References

  1. Why lithium iron phosphate batteries are suitable for industrial and commercial applications
  2. Lithium iron phosphate batteries | Lithium Ion Battery Manufacturer | BSLBATT
  3. Building safer Li-lon batteries | Extending Battery Life | Doing your part for the environment
  4. US: Tesla Offers Model 3 SR+ LFP Battery Option, Quicker Delivery
  5. Nanostructured Materials for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage Devices